First of all I need to give a major shout out to The Show Room movie theater in Asbury Park. This place is a gem showing killer good independent films. If you are a movie fan, you need to go visit this theater at least four times a year so it doesn't disappear. It is a gem it, very comfortable, it excellent sightlines…I can't say enough about it. Okay let's talk about movies.
I love my sports and I love my movies should be a home run for me. I particularly favorite sports movies that share a story I barely know.
The Dark Horse is set in Wales in the year in the mid 2000's, A middle aged, barmaid/cleaning woman (Jan Vokes) overhears bar talk by a customer about race horses. In her younger years she had been around the breeding of racing dogs and pigeons. Hence, she thought why not a race horse and assembles of group of blue collar locals to give 10 pounds a week (maybe 30 citizens) all who can barely afford that but eagerly decide to share in a dream.
At some point with money in the kitty, they buy a mare (female) and subsequently with the stud fee, breed their "dream horse". With what they can afford, the pedigree of this pair is pretty low level to nearly a laughable level. The odds of this horse being even remotely respectable are uber slim.
Somehow between a lot of luck, fate, a the tax lawyer from the bar with the only experience and trust in the horse, an incredible true story begins for them and their horse "Dream Alliance" (nicknamed Dream).
This documentary was assembled 5-7 years after the the story occurred in this poor Welsh town. Hence he quality of video and limit of photography results in much history NOT being captured.
But that is what makes this film so captivating as it is so unpolished and sort of unscripted. Plus visually, this film is a bit grainy, choppy and loaded with folks with serious Welsh accents, drives home the reality of this unheard of story.
Add in the novelty of Welsh Horse racing which involves a standing, group start from a circle, racing on lush green grass for 3 miles (twice the length of a US triple crown rash) while jumping over 20 fences is fascinating to this novice horse fan and most American racing fans. It is more like a steeplechase involving lots of hurdles so it is very different very dangerous and so this story has its ups and downs.
The shocking "ups and downs" of "Dreams" story and the tireless loyalty to the love of the horse by both the owners and the entire town an beautiful in its simplicity.
This was a terrific documentary (and subsequently checked is getting top shelf review). Just be ready for some heavy Welsh accents so, as I say to my grandson, "turn your ears on".